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No Candle No Light is a song by Zayn Malik from his second studio album, Icarus Falls. It is twenty fifth track of the album.

The song features Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj. It was released on November 15, 2018 through RCA Records as the sixth single from the album. It is Zayn and Minaj's first collaboration.[1]

Lyrically, the song narrates the tale of two lovers who have to face the sad fact that their relationship has lost its spark.

Background

Rumors about the single first surfaced when a number of fans first heard a tiny snippet of the collab when Zayn played it at a listening party in March 2017. Zayn didn’t confirm nor deny these rumors until in a September 2017 interview he had with Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1. In that interview, he finally confirmed that he had indeed collaborated with Nicki Minaj on a song.

On November 14, 2018, Zayn shared on Twitter a teaser for the song featuring only the word "Thursday" and Minaj shouting her signature, "Young Money", in the background.[2]

Korean American songwriter/producer Brian Lee teamed up with fellow producers Sawry and TJ Routon to produce this track.

When asked about their collaboration in 2017, Nicki shared that this is her favorite song of all time.[3] Minaj does more of singing than rapping in this song. Moreover, she doesn’t rap on this track. This is something very unusual for Minaj to do.

According to the lyrical interpretation of the song, the couple (Minaj and Malik) tell themselves they need to accept that certain things in life aren’t meant to be. And one of these things is their romance. The couple use the entire song heavily contemplating their romance. And at the end of the day, they both know they have to do just one thing – go their separate ways. There’s no point fighting for the romance anymore.

Lyrics

[Intro: Nicki Minaj]
Young Money

[Verse 1: Nicki Minaj & ZAYN]
Hand on your hand
Chest on your chest
Tangled in bed
But I'm feeling you less

You know my love ain't free
Why do you make believe?
Why do you sell me dreams?
SMS in the morning light

We gotta, we gotta, we gotta face it
The fire, the fire ain't no longer blazin'

[Pre-Chorus: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
I, I woke up on the wrong side of ya
You don't even know that I left, do ya?
Can't handle my love
Can't handle your lies
No friend zone to my love
Quit burning all of my time
I, I woke up on the wrong side of ya

[Chorus: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
No candle, no light for you
No candle, no light for you
No candle, no light for you

[Verse 2: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
I can't do it, no baby, I can't do it
I only end up losing, ooh we're really fooling this
Agree to disagree, some things aren't meant to be
But I wanted you and me
SMS in the morning light

We gotta, we gotta, we gotta face it
The fire, the fire ain't no longer blazin'

[Pre-Chorus: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
I, I woke up on the wrong side of ya
You don't even know that I left, do ya?
Can't handle my love
Can't handle your lies
No friend zone to my love
Quit burning all of my time
I, I woke up on the wrong side of ya

[Chorus: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
No candle, no light for you
No candle, no light for you
No candle, no light for you

[Bridge: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta face it
The fire, the fire ain't no longer blazin'

[Chorus: ZAYN & Nicki Minaj]
No candle, no light for you
No candle, no light for you
No candle, no light for you

[Outro: Nicki Minaj]
Switch up the lane, switch up the lane
Watch how ya gyal just switch up her lane
This one here, it ah Nicki and ZAYN, ZAYN, seen?

Lyric Video

ZAYN - No Candle No Light (Lyric Video) feat

ZAYN - No Candle No Light (Lyric Video) feat. Nicki Minaj

Composition

Diverging from Zayn's series of slow-burning, R&B jams, “No Candle No Light” introduces a more electronic-inspired sound for the British singer featuring rapper Nicki Minaj, who is no stranger to the electronic genre. The song was written by Zayn Malik, Tushar Apte, Brittany "Chi" Coney, Brian Lee, Kathryn Osterberg, TJ Routon, Denisia "Blu June" Andrews and Nicki Minaj.

Reception

The Fader called the song a "tropical house bop" and compared its synths to those in "Sorry" by Justin Bieber.[4]  Rolling Stone called the track an EDM-pop exploration of "romantic frustration".[5] Exclaim! noted the song's "booming EDM beat with Zayn's trademark emotional croon", and pointed out that Minaj sings instead of rapping.[6]

References

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